Mission Patches Sample Mission List

This list is by no means exhaustive, but meant as a jumping off point. Eligible missions include all missions past, present and future by any and all Governments or private space companies.

Sample List:

Sputnik 1. October 4, 1957
Vehicle: Sputnik 1 satellite.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Launched by the Soviet Union. 1st artificial satellite in space. Set off space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Explorer 1. January 15, 1958
Vehicle: Explorer 1 Satellite.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: 1st United States satellite launched into space aboard a Juno 1 booster rocket for the International Geophysical Year. Discovered Van Allen Radiation Belts.

Vostok 1. April 12, 1961.
Vehicle: Vostok-3KA Spacecraft.
Crew: Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
Notes: Launched by the Soviet Union. 1st human in space. 1st to orbit the earth.

Mercury-Redstone 3. May 5, 1961
Vehicle: Mercury Space Capsule, Freedom 7.
Crew: Astronaut Alan Shepard.
Notes: 1st American in space. Sub-orbital trajectory. 1st pilot-controlled spacecraft.

Mercury-Atlas 6. February 20, 1962.
Vehicle: Mercury Space Capsule, Friendship 7.
Crew: Astronaut John Glenn.
Notes: 1st American to orbit the earth (3 times).

Telstar 1. July 10, 1962.
Vehicle: SATCAT 00340, commonly ‘Telstar’.
Notes: 1st commercial launch, 1st communications satellite. 1st transatlantic television signal.

Voskhod 2. March 18,1965.
Vehicle: Voshkod 3KD Spacecraft.
Crew: Cosmonauts Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov.
Notes:1st human extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or ‘spacewalk’ -Leonov, outside capsule in specialized spacesuit.

Gemini 4. June 3 , 1965.
Vehicle: Gemini Spacecraft 4
Crew: Astronauts James A. McDivitt, Edward H White II.
Notes:1st American extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or ‘spacewalk’- White, outside capsule in specialized spacesuit with propellant maneuvering ‘gun’).

Apollo 8: December 24, 1968.
Vehicles: Saturn 5 Launch Vehicle, Apollo CSM-103
Crew: Frank F. Borman II, James A. Lovell, Jr., William A. Anders
Notes: 1st journey outside Low Earth Orbit, circumnavigating the Moon. Famous ‘earthrise’photo. 1st live images from lunar orbit. Christmas Eve Genesis ‘good earth’ address (amidst turmoil- Vietnam, assassinations, race riots of ‘68)

Apollo 11. July 20, 1969
Vehicles: Saturn 5 Launch Vehicle, Command Module, Columbia, Service Module, Lunar Module (Lander) Eagle.
Crew: Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Michael Collins
Notes: 1st humans to set foot on the surface of the Moon (Armstrong, Aldrin).

Salyut 1. April 19, 1971.
Vehicle: Salyut 1 Space Station
Crews: Two crews aboard Soyuz spacecraft visited station. Soyuz 10 could not dock and aborted. Soyuz 11 crew: Georgy Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov stayed a duration of 24 days, beginning June 6, 1971.
Notes: 1st orbiting space station. Launched by Soviet Union. Operational life, 175 days. Soyuz 11 crew had become celebrities in the U.S.S.R. via TV transmissions from space station. Crew died of ashyxiation on Earth re-entry due to a faulty pressure valve.

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. July 15, 1975.
Vehicles: Saturn 1B Launch Vehicle, Apollo CSM-111Spacecraft (U.S.). Soyuz-U Launch Vehicle, Soyuz 19 Spacecraft, APAS-75 (Docking Mechanism)
Crews: Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, Donald K. ‘Deke’ Slayton (U.S.), Alexei Leonov, Valeri Kubasov (Soviet Union)
Notes: 1st joint United States, Soviet Union space mission. Cold war combatants rendezvous in orbit, symbolizing détente among superpowers.

Viking 1. July 20, 1976
Vehicles: Orbiter and Lander
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: 1st lander on Mars.1st high-resolution surface pictures of Mars, Analysis of atmosphere and soil. Search for evidence of life. There were actually two Viking probes, Viking 1 and 2, both comprised of an orbiter and lander. Viking 2 landed on the surface of Mars on September 3, 1976.

Voyager. August 20, 1977
Vehicles: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Grand Tour of Outer Planets. Voyager 1, launched September 5, 1977, to study Jupiter, Saturn. Saturnian moon, Titan. Voyager 2 launched August 20, 1977 to study Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, ) Probes are still operating. Voyager 1 is the farthest spacecraft from earth and is travelling in interstellar space.

STS-1. April 12, 1981
Vehicle: Space Shuttle Columbia.
Crew: John W. Young (Commander), Robert L. Crippen (Pilot)
Notes: 1st orbital spaceflight of the Space Shuttle (STS- Space Transport System) program.

STS-31. April 24, 1990.
Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery.
Crew: Loren Shriver (Commander), Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (Pilot), Mission specialists: Bruce McCandless II, Steven A. Hawley, Kathryn D. Sullivan.
Notes: Deployed the Hubble Space Telescope for hi-resolution deep-space photography.

Mars Pathfinder. December 4, 1996
Vehicles: Lander, Carl Sagan Memorial Station. Surface Rover, Sojourner
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Mobile rover explored the surface of Mars. Landed in Ares Vallis, a rocky area deemed scientifically important. Carl Sagan was an astronomer and science populist. Sojourner, the rover, was named after civil rights pioneer, Sojourner Truth.

Expedition 1. November 2, 2000
Vehicle: International Space Station (ISS)
Crew: Commander Bill Shepherd (US), Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko (Russia) Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev (Russia).
Notse: 1st long-duration mission to the International Space Station, 136 days, begins continuous human presence in space (continues to today)/

Shenzhou 5. October 15, 2003
Vehicle: Shenzou Spacecraft.
Crew: Yang Liwei.
Notes: 1st Chinese ‘taikonaut’ in space.China became only the third nation, after the United States and The Soviet Union to launch a human into space.

SpaceShipOne Flight 15P. June 21, 2004.
Vehicle: SpaceShipOne
Crew: Mike Melvill
Notes: 1st commercial human spaceflight. Launched to orbit from White Knight carrier aircraft. Melvill becomes 1st non-government astronaut.

Cassini-Huygens. July 1, 2004
Vehicles: Cassini Orbital Spacecraft , Huygens Lander.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Joint NASA, ESA, ASI mission to study the planet Jupiter. Cassini orbited Saturn on July 1, 2004 and continues to do so. It will operate until 2017. Huygens was a probe, launched from Cassini that landed on Saturn’s moon, Titan on January 14, 2005.

Spirit and Opportunity. January 4, 2004, January 25, 2004 (Landings respectively).
Vehicles: NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) rovers. Two rovers, Spirit (MER-A) and Opportunity (MER-B).
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Both craft roved and explore(d) Mars. Spirit operated until May 25th 2011, Opportunity continues to operate. Objectives are exploring the Martian surface, studying hydrologic activity to determine viability of past or present life.

Deep Impact. July 4, 2005.
Vehicles: NASA Deep Impact Space Probe; Flyby section and Impactor.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Flyby imaged comet Tempel 1, Impactor crashed into surface of Tempel 1 comet nucleus, causing ejecta to study its composition, determining makeup of early universe.

Kepler. May 12, 2009.
Vehicle: NASA Kepler Space Observatory
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Named after Johannes Kepler, Renaissance astronomer. Kepler is a deep-space telescope in heliocentric (solar) orbit. It is designed to find how many potential habitable planets are in the Milky Way galaxy. To date has discovered 1,000 alien planets.

SpaceX Dragon. December 8, 2010
Vehicles: Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle, SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: SpaceX Aerospace company founded by Elon Musk in 2002.1st private spacecraft to orbit with sea recovery. A different configuration, SpaceX Dragon CRS, resupplies the International Space Station. A further configuration, Dragon V2 is being developed as a 7-man crew capsule.

Curiousity. August 6, 2012.
Vehicles: NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) rover.
Notes: Largest, most sophisticated rover to date. Investigates Martian geology and climate, seeks evidence of microbial life. Exploring Gale Crater on Mars. Bradbury Landing site, named after famed American writer notable for his collection, The Martian Chronicles.

Rosetta-Philae. November 12, 2014.
Vehicles: ESA (European Space Agency) Comet orbiter Rosetta, comet lander Philae.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Philae made the 1st soft landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta and Philae are named after the stone and obelisk, respectively that led to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Dawn. July 16, 2011 and March 6, 2015.
Vehicle: NASA Spacecraft, Dawn
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: It is the first spacecraft to orbit two targets. Exploring protoplanets, Vesta and Ceres in Asteroid belt. Dawn entered the orbit of Vesta on July 16, 2011 and studied it for 14 months. It arrived at Ceres on March 6, 2015 and will remain in orbit there. Designed to investigate the processes of the early solar system.

New Horizons. July 14, 2015.
Vehicle: NASA New Frontiers Spacecraft, New Horizons
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: 1st spacecraft to study Pluto up-close. Launched in 2006, New Horizons had it’s closest approach to the planet on July 14, 2015. Now past Pluto it will flyby and studu Kuiper Belt objects.

Juno. July 4, 2016.
Vehicle: NASA New Frontiers Spacecraft, Juno.
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: In-depth study of Jupiter, largest planet in the solar system. July 4, 2016 is arrival at Jupiter. Will study for a year.

Osiris-Rex. Late 2016
Vehicle: NASA New Frontiers spacecraft, Osiris-Rex
Crew: None. Unmanned.
Notes: Return sample from an asteroid to Earth. asteroid sample return vehicle.